Ibn 'Arabi and the salvation of Fir'awn in the Hereafter

Discussion in 'Islamic Theology and Ideology' started by Abdullah ibn Adam, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Abdullah ibn Adam

    Abdullah ibn Adam New Member

    The following excerpts are taken from Aisha Bewley's (a prominent member of the "Murabitun" group) translation of Ibn 'Arabi's infamous work "Fusus al-Hikam", chapter: "The Seal of the Wisdom of Sublimity in the Word of Musa". ​

    (You can see the whole original here:

    Read carefully the bolded and especially the underlined text to see what is actually being claimed about Fir'awn, and prepare to be shocked!​

    Ibn 'Arabi said:​

    "The consolation of Pharaoh was with the belief Allah gave him when he was drowning. So Allah took him pure and purified. There was no impurity in him since He took him in his belief before he had acquired any wrong actions. Islam effaces what was before it. He made him a sign of His concern so that none might despair of the mercy of Allah, for "no one despairs of solace from Allah except for the unbelievers." (12:87) If Pharaoh been of those who despair, he would not have embarked on belief. Musa, peace be upon him, was, as the wife of Pharaoh said, "a source of delight for me and for you. Do not kill him. It may well be that he will be of use to us." That is what happened. Allah gave them use of Musa, although they were not aware that he was a prophet who would destroy the kingdom of Pharaoh and his family..."​

    "...As for the words of Allah, "but their belief when they saw Our violent force was of no use to them. That is the pattern Allah has always followed with His slaves," (40:85) [Bewley's footnote: It like is in Qur'an 10:98, where the punishment is removed from the people of Yunus after they believed.] that did not mean that it did not profit them in the Next World through His exception, "except for the people of Yunus." He meant that that did not prevent them being punished in this world. For that reason, Pharaoh was seized in spite of the existence of his belief even though his affair was that of someone who is certain that his death is approaching. The circumstances accord that he was not certain that he was going to die because he saw the believers walking on the dry path which had appeared when Musa struck the sea with his staff. Pharaoh was not certain that he would perish since he believed that he would not die until the moment actually reached him. He believed in the One in whom the Tribe of Israel believed, in certainty of his deliverance.

    "It was indeed certain, but it was in a form other than the one he wanted. He was saved from the punishment of the Next World in himself and his body was saved as Allah says, "Today We will save your body that you might be a sign for those after you," (10:92) because, if his form had vanished, his people might have said that he had gone into occultation. His known form appeared as a corpse that it might be known that it was really him. Deliverance was encompassed both in the senses and in the meaning.
    "The one who has the word of the punishment in the Other World realized for him [Bewley's footnote: cf. Qur'an 39:71.] will not believe, even if every ayat had been brought to him, "so that they might see the painful punishment," that is, taste the punishment of the Next World. Pharaoh left this class of people. This is the literal meaning of what the text of the Qur'an brought us. We say, and the matter belongs to Allah, that the fixed idea which the common people have regarding the wretchedness of Pharaoh is not based on anything in the divine text. As for his family, that is another judgement. This is not the place to mention it...."​

    End of quote from Ibn 'Arabi.​

    Some of the die-hard defenders of this group assert that "Fusus al-Hikam" is not authentically attributed to Ibn 'Arabi, but that it - or at least parts of it - was fabricated by his enemies to incriminate him falsely. ​

    They also claim that just because Aisha Bewley has translated the objectionable statements about Fir'awn, this doesn't necessarily mean that she (or the other top Murabitun figures) actually agrees with it or believes it.​

    However, both of these objections are weak and illogical, or to put it in another way, a futile attempt to clutch at straws.

    The problem with the first objection is that if Aisha Bewley believes that the work is not authentically that of Ibn 'Arabi, then why translate the whole work and then proceed to attribute it all to Ibn 'Arabi? There is not even a passing mention in any of the footnotes - particularly the ones about the fate of Fir'awn in the akhirah - indicating that Bewley believed that it was the work of anyone other than Ibn 'Arabi.​

    And the problem with the second objection is that if Bewley (and her mentor Abdalqadir) doesn't agree with it, then why is this not made clear in the footnotes? Their translation of "Fusus al-Hikam" is replete with explanatory footnotes, why are their none explaining their objections towards - or even an attempt at an explanatory "ta'wil" of - the claims made about Fir'awn dying on iman and being from the saved?

    What indeed can be said about the state of someone who agrees with this statement:​

    "We say, and the matter belongs to Allah, that the fixed idea which the common people have regarding the wretchedness of Pharaoh is not based on anything in the divine text." ("Wretchedness" here being the translation of the Arabic word ash-shaqa', meaning to be doomed to the Hell-fire eternally!)​
  2. akhi i dont prefer to attack people but what makes Aisha or Abdul Haqq Bewley ''Ustaadh'' and ''Ustadha''

    btw she translating material by ibn arabi is ridiculous

    Imam ibn Katheer in his book of Islamic history- Al-bidaya Wal Nihaya comments on ibn Arabi “He has a book named beads of wisdom in which there are many things that are apparently clear kufr.”

    Imam adh-Dhahabi said (in Siyar ‘Alam an-Nubala) that “if ibn Arabi’s book (Beads of wisdom) does not contain clear Kufr, then there is no Kufr in the world!

    Imam ‘Izz ibn abdul Salam said about Ibn Arabi: “(he is) an evil liar sheik who claims that this world is eternal (i.e. was not created by Allah) and embraces promiscuity.”
  3. Abdullah ibn Adam

    Abdullah ibn Adam New Member

    The funny thing is that on shaykh Abdalqadir's website, there is a recording of a speech given to a group of the "murabitun" by a moroccan shaykh called Muhammad Wazzani (who it seems is quite closely associated with their group) in which he lambasts and bombards those who use the term "ustadh", and he claims that only the modernists - and he is clearly referring to those considered as "salafis" - use this term "ustadh", and that it was never used by the classical ulama, and that the word "ustadh" is the persian translation of a french title that refers to a particular freemasonic degree! (Even though ash-Shafi'i himself is on record as saying "Malik was my ustadh"!)

    What is even more amusing is that Muhammad Wazzani then goes on to say something like: "And don't even ask me about the term "doctor"! Upon which you hear the voice of "Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir" (see the title at the top of his website) giving what almost sounds like an approving cheer of Wazzani's criticism of those who call themselves "Dr.", forgetting in the process that Abdalqadir uses the title "Dr." himself!
  4. hillarious akhi , to come back to the ibnu arabi issue what did shaykhul islaam ibn taymiyya say about this heretic?
  5. Abdullah ibn Adam

    Abdullah ibn Adam New Member

    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said that basically, in the beginning he was impressed by some of Ibn 'Arabi's works, particularly al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah, however later on he realised the reality of the man's beliefs after finding out what was contained in some of his other books like Fusus al-Hikam.

    Actually, al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah is a very interesting read, and contains a lot of interesting insights into how thoughtfully Ibn 'Arabi looked into and considered the deeper aspects/meanings of many prescribed acts of worship, like prayer, fasting, purity etc. Although many of those are highly questionable from various aspects.

    However, it is definitely not the kind of book that should be taken as a basis on which to build your 'aqidah or knowledge. It contains a lot of very specialised and technical sufi "jargon", and therefore is very difficult to understand for people who are unfamiliar with these things.

    To put it simply, though, ignorance of the contents of "al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah" will not be detrimental to you in any way.
  6. interesting , akhi i also heard a while ago that ibnu arabi believed that the fire of hell would go out after a certain time?
  7. Abdullah ibn Adam

    Abdullah ibn Adam New Member

    It wouldn't surprise me, brother.

    From what I remember, he said that the hell-fire wouldn't go out, but that it would stay there, however, after the kuffar have been punished according to what (Ibn 'Arabi thinks) they deserve, then the fire would become cool and refreshing for them (perhaps like it was with Ibrahim, 'alayhis-salam?)...

    Anyway, for a person who basically said in his book Fusus al-Hikam that the idol-worshipping people of Nuh were actually muwahhidun, who were drowned by the water of knowledge followed by the fire of divine love, anything is to be expected...
  8. Layth

    Layth Abu Shawarma

    "the fire of Divine love"???
    Doesn't Siraj Wahhaj also believe that at some point everyone will come out of jahannam except for "those whom the Quraan has trapped"? Whatever the hell that means. He said that in this lecture:

    Check from minute 44..

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/BsWjs7hhSn0&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/BsWjs7hhSn0&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    Seems like a very vague answer to a simple straight forward question.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  9. Abdullah ibn Adam

    Abdullah ibn Adam New Member

    From what I am aware, this is mentioned in a hadith or athar, the meaning of "those whom the qur'an has trapped" is the kuffar, who will be in hell forever. Everyone else, i.e. the believers who were in hell due to sins, will be taken out, leaving only the kuffar, whom the Qur'an says will be there forever.
  10. Ibn Thahir

    Ibn Thahir New Member

    Assalamu alaikum!

    This is my first post in the forum. Really unfortunate that i have to begin with the controversial issue. But i have to clarify it.

    Regarding Ibn Arabi and Firawn, It is said that Ibn Arabi held Firawn to be a Kafir in his later work Futuhat al-Makkiyya. How far is it true? This is what the person said in FB, and i dont understand arabic! :)

    قال الشيخ ابن عربي في الباب الثاني والستين من الفتوحات المكية: بأن فرعون من أهل النار الذين لا يخرجون منها أبد الآبدين والفتوحات آخر مؤلفاته فإنه فرغ منها قبل موته بنحو ثلاث سنين.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  11. Tuwaylib

    Tuwaylib Anti-Defeatist

    It says what you said :D
    maaqib likes this.
  12. Ibn Thahir

    Ibn Thahir New Member

    And the same is said in a paper regarding the issue at hand - <small>Controversy over Ibn `Arabi's Fusus: The Faith of Pharaoh.


    Its in the 7th page of the paper. The words of Ali al-Qari is in his treatise on Pharaoh's faith Iman Firawn wa al-Radd alaihi li al-allamah
    Ali ibn Sulan Muhammad al-Qari as claimed by the author of the paper.

    can anyone clarify it?
  13. Logic lover

    Logic lover Well-Known Member

  14. Ibn Thahir

    Ibn Thahir New Member

    The above quote of Ibn Arabi where he claimed to have said that Firawn was kafir, is in Futuhat al-Makkiyya, not in Fusus!
  15. Logic lover

    Logic lover Well-Known Member

    Regardless, we don't need ibn Arabi to tell us as to the situation of Feraun. Common people are more sensible than the likes of him. You can only get garbage from the owner of a garbage field.
    al-omari likes this.
  16. Ibn Thahir

    Ibn Thahir New Member

    No brother. Its not about whether we need Ibn Arabi's acceptance in determining the state of Firawn or not. Its about clarifying the stand of Ibn Arabi towards Firawn. After all this thread is all about discussing Ibn Arabi's stand towards Firawn. Isnt it?
  17. Logic lover

    Logic lover Well-Known Member

    Yes! It is about Ibn Arabi's stand and we should not just stop there. We should also bear in mind our stance towards his views.
  18. Ibn Thahir

    Ibn Thahir New Member

    I accept Firawn to be a Kafir. But people often quote Ibn Arabi's view of Firawn as a Muslim, apparently from his Fusus, to declare him kafir. And i know Ibn Arabi's view towards Firawn was not the only problematic words found in his works according to his detractors. But just i need to know his final view towards Firawn.

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